Barbados’ Animals & Wildlife
Barbados is a hive of Ecological Activity, and viewed by many as a treasure trove of plant and animal life. In fact, several animals have played a large role in the islands history and culture, including the green monkey, a central attraction at the islands wild life reserve, sea turtles, who play an exciting role in many snorkeling and diving experiences on island and the flying fish engrained in our culture and is a trademark frequently seen in our daily lives. Aditionally Barbados is also known to have eight species of bats, three species of lizards, the red – footed tortoise and the European wild hare (frequently seen in the parish of St. John).
- The green turtle – Named for the green colour of its body fat.
- The hawksbill turtle – Named because of its narrow head and large beak that resembles the beak of a hawk.
- The leatherback turtle – Named because its’ back is covered with a layer of tough, rubbery skin that resembles leather.
- The loggerhead turtle – Named because of its exceptionally large head.
- In Barbados, the frequent use of the ocean for activities such as diving, snorkeling and swimming with the turtles the sea turtles in some areas have become quite tame and are partially dependent on humans to feed them. While these creatures are tame it is completely illegal to catch any species of sea turtle, or possess any turtle product (i.e. meat, shell, eggs) in Barbados. Penalties include fines up to $50,000 Barbados dollars and/or two years in jail.
For more information on sea turtles of Barbados visit the Barbados Sea Turtle Project.
- Its excellent high quality meat, which has a mild sweet flavor and a low fat content.
- It’s very low maintenance, ability to easily tolerate heat, stamina and it ability to manage well on poor foliage and small amount of feed.
- The excellent quality of leather used by local artists to make leather goods.
The fertile stock can breed all year round and has also been frequently utilized in foreign breeding. This is because the Barbados Blackbelly sheep are very disease resistant and parasite tolerant, which are desirable traits in crossbreeding operations.
Over the years at least 84 bird species have been recorded in Barbados, of these many are water birds and have been spotted mostly at the Greame Hall Nature Sanctuary. Barbados is home to a wide range of resident and migratory birds, including falcons, ducks and locally threatened species such as the Caribbean Coot and the Golden Warbler. Additional migratory winter residents include the Osprey and several Herons such as the Great Blue, Little Blue, Tricolor and the Yellow-crowned Night Heron. The Great White Egret, Sora Rail, Belted Kingfisher, Parula Warbler, Spotted Sandpiper and Northern Waterthrush have also been seen on the island.
These birds use their large bills to and some water which is then drained in their the large gular pouch. blackish-brown and the legs and feet are black. The juvenile is similar but has a brownish-gray neck and white underparts.
Photos © Caribbean Dreams Magazine